Friday, December 23, 2005

Wheel of Fish!!!

No, not really. Though UHF was a pretty funny movie.

I was watching Wheel of Fortune tonight (don't laugh.. okay, laugh!) and one of the prizes was a trip to Iceland. "Hmmm.." I thought. "I've been to Iceland!" And 'lo and behold, it was an Icelandair package, airfare & hotel. I saw the hotel shots and thought, "Wow! Cool! I stayed in that hotel!" After all, when The Lawless One and I went two Springs ago we went because he'd found a good Icelandair package.

And then i saw the "value" of this prize. And I say "value" because they are lying, scum-suckign weasels. According to them, the trip was valued at around $8,600. Which is complete and utter bullshit. I think it cost us around $1,500 for round-trip airfare and 3 nights in the hotel. Let's be unreasonable. Add $500 to that for first class seats. Let's add $1,500 to that for 4 more nights in the hotel. What do we have? $3,500. NOT their purported $8,600. HOW THE HELL DO THEY ARRIVE AT THAT NUMBER???? 'Cause I call bullshit on that one.

Also, looks like the NYC transit strike ended on Thursday afternoon. Kinda funny. No concessions were made. Nothing changed, per se, from the previous two days. No, the TWU board just voted, something like 35-6, to go back to work. Yeah. So who thinks the TWU is now in a better negotiating position than before? The city called their 'bluff' (though it can hardly be called a real bluff since they did strike) and didn't concede one inch. So is the TWU any better off? I think not. I think they're in a worse position now, especially considering the strikers and, just as notably, Roger Toussaint are subject to criminal repercussions. Worth it to strike rather than try and hash things out? I don't think so.

My colon was happy today. I just wanted you to know.

But I still have a cold. Bleh. Yay for a 3-day weekend followed by a 3-day week followed by a 4-day weekend! Yay for WoW! Boo for dogs still going on the floor! Yay for... ummm... ... ... tissues! (Sorry, I drew a blank.)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Where were we?

Ah yes, Boston Legal and my colon. No new Boston Legal this week. (Curse you ABC!!!) However my colon is faring the same. That is to say poorly. Couple that with a cold I have developed today and I'm a little miserable. Add in that one of our two dogs at home is having bladder control issues necessitating morning and evening cleaning of the kitchen floor by yours truly ('cause my mom's bad back and bad knee and bad wrist otherwise disqualify her from floor-cleaning duty) and I'm pretty darn miserable tonight.

Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Leaky colon. Recently-cleaned floor that now has a small pile of dog shit courtesy of the other, non-bladder-control-problems dog. *sigh* Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. (Though I did go to work today so it did pay in the literal sense.)

Work is going rather well. I'm learning more every day. Thus far I've drafted a nonprovisional application and a provisional application. Also many Responses to Office Actions. I'm enjoying it most of the time. Sometimes it's boring or uninspiring but even then I slog through and manage to produce something (hopefully) good. I take heart that my provisional draft, which I turned in for review today, only received minor corrections. Heck, even my flow charts and descriptions thereof passed muster! Not bad all things considered.

One cool thing about work. Since it's the holiday season, the firm gets a number of seasonal cards. The firm also gets a number of edible seasonal gifts, including chocolate, coffee cake, and Mrs. Field's cookies. Oh the cookies. The cookies!!! *Homer Simpson-like drooling noises* Soooooo good. Sooooooooooo good. The worst part is that my desk is very close to the kitchen, where the edible seasonal gifts reside. Hence, whenever I pass the kitchen, which I do on a not infrequent basis, I am tempted to partake of the edible seasonal gifts. Sooooo good. Cooooooookies. Yes, my kryptonite is chocolate chip cookies. Coooooookies.

Sorry about that. Got hung up on the edible fare. By the way, the reason for no new posts of late is work. Some nights I get home and don't even turn on my computer. The nights I do, exepting tonight, I tend to play my computer game and relax. I'll try to post a bit more often but how many times in the lifetime of this blog have I promised that one? Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

I do have some comments, maybe ones that could even be misconstrued as substantive, concerning the NYC transit strike and FISA taps. We'll see if I get around to posting those, though. I will say that watching the news coverage of the transit strike, safely afar here in CT, is pretty interesting. Personally I'm rooting for MTA and the city (Bloomberg, Patacki, et al.). The union is in a bad position, in my opinion. Hopefully this thing is resolved in the next day or two but I wouldn't be shocked if it took a bit longer.

And as for the FISA taps, in an effort to keep my name and this blog off various non-existent lists of persons I shall refrain from using names. Let's just say I'm not a POTUS-supporter. I think that he could have handled this, as with so many other things, including the war, in a much better manner. I'm also a bit concerned over these things, even though I'm not surprised by them. In my opinion, sans any review or review process, these taps are the first step on a road I distinctly dislike, namely one leading to a more dictatorial form of government. When the government starts conducting its affairs in secret, out of the eyes of the public and without any accountability thereto, it's time for the people to take note and be afraid. Makes you wonder what else they haven't told us, eh? And that does scare me.

So maybe you did get my thoughts on those topics. Thhhpppttt.

Man I feel rotten. Hope I can get some sleep tonight. I still plan on going into work. It's at my option whether or not I do but every hour of work I miss is one more I have to make up later. And that ain't good, especially if I get behind. As it is, I was on target this morning after the previous two weeks' deficits (due to first day, snow, and ice). I'm currently a half hour behind. Hopefully I can at least put in a good 5-6 hours billable tomorrow.

The almighty billable hour. I've learned that it's not so hard to manage 7-8 billables a day. There's plenty of work to do and if I get in early and stay to at least 5pm, with a 30 min. lunch break it's cake. Unfortunately that doesn't take into account my colon (which has exacted 45-60 min on a bad day or as few as 5-10 on a good day) or break time (which has exacted as much as 55 min on a bad day). I view break time as occasionally necessary to preserve sanity. Plus, it's my time to use towards billables or make up later. I try not to break if I can help it but sometimes I have to surf over to Slashdot or The Legal Underground and take a brief, unbilled breather.

Is this post that long yet? I suspect it is but I refuse to verify.

CSI is good. If you like, the Spike channel shows it from at least 7-8pm, if not also 8-9pm. Got a double dose tonight. Yay Grissom! I am kind of hoping that Jorja Fox gets more acting roles. I suspect she has potential. (Plus she's pretty good-looking.) Have to see if she gets other parts elsewhere.

Speaking of entertainment, I need to see Chronicles of Narnia and Aeon Flux. I'd like to buy Serenity on DVD, now that I have money in my pocket from my first paycheck. I did watch the movie Rounders on tv. I rather liked it! A good one with Matt Damon and Ed Norton about poker. Good ending too. Two weekends ago my mom and I saw Syriana in the theater. It was okay at best. We both feel like we missed something with it. As in its overall goal, point, story, or direction. Not a good thing to find oneself missing in a movie.

Enough. Peace out.

ADDENDUM: In reviewing the front page of my blog, I remembered one other thing I wanted to write. Apologies go to my friend's fiancee whom I mentioned about 3 posts back. You see, my friend's fiancee is also a friend of mine and apparently she took my reference to her, as "my friend's fiancee," in a negative light. Apologies T-bone!

She voiced this to me when I met up with her and her fiancee, aka my friend, at that shindig a Thursday or two back. Was a good thing, except for the location. New Haven stinks! Took me over an hour to get there! Anyways, she sparked a brief discussion over my reference to her. At which point I sided with her fiancee, aka my friend, in pointing out that I met him before her. See, I was friends with both of them before they were ever a them. I met him at orientation and her in the grocery store late one night. (She was my neighbor and in front of me in line and recognized me and said hi.)

It's actually kind of funny. Each year of law school I was good friends with a different friend o' mine. First year it was T-bone's fiancee. Second year it was The Lawless One. Third year it was Dan-the-Man. T-bone hooked up with his fiancee the end of first year. The Lawless One re-hooked up with his former-ex girlfriend the end of second year. Dan-the-Man commuted so he had nowhere else to go when in Hartford, other than the school. (Hah!) Plus he and I liked computer games. I got him back into Diablo 2 and then World of Warcraft. As it is, he and I became pretty good friends although I wasn't invited to his wedding this past November. I haven't asked him about that yet but then I haven't talked with him much. I will inquire though.

That's another thing. The Cara and The Dave had their wedding in October. Captain Kate and Sneaky Pete had their wedding this October. I think I was the only law student invited to both weddings. The group of friends I assembled is a little odd in that not everyone in the group is friends or even friendly with the rest. Except me. I'm pretty much friends with everyone. I predict that I won't see all of them again until it's time for my wedding, when I invite them all. 'Cause no one else is friends with everyone. Kinda sad. Especially given some of the 'reasons' behind the non-friendship. Also because they all are my friends and it'd be really cool to hang with them all again. At one time. In one place.

Speaking of my wedding, I predict it to be a loooooooong way off. Me living at home does not a good dating life make. Not that me living in my own apartment was much better. But home just kinda kills it. The town doesn't help either. And I'm not really one to cruise bars and pick up women. I sometimes wish I was but that ain't how it works for me. So I spend my Friday and Saturday nights watching tv or playing computer games. At some point, possibly after I lose a few pounds and feel a bit better about myself and have some more dispensible income, I can give it more of a shot. I suspect the Internet will be involved. Yes, that doesn't make me leap with joy either.

By the way, one soft goal of mine next year, besides getting out of debt, is to consider getting a new car. What would I get? Probably a new, spiffy 2006 Shelby Ford Cobra GT500. I just want to throw that one out there. Sometime, in another post, I'll dig out some links, info, and pictures. Me likey.

Okay, enough addendum. Cheers! [9:45 PM]

ADDENDUM II: I really hate my colon. I mean it. I. hate. my. colon. I mean I'm sure I need a colon. And if I do need one, I'm sure it's better to have a colon than not. However I would much rather it be a properly-functioning colon as opposed to, well, mine. *sigh* I think I should just sit on the toilet and telecommute. [9:54 PM]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Boston Legal Roxxors

William Shatner on an immediate trial, to a judge:
Your old. I'm old. Lock and load. Let's do this before we die.
Boston Legal is insanely funny. It's also absolutely hilarious for its legal content and arguments. Like The Practice, at times the legal content is spot on and dead right. Not to mention it's funny.

Watch it. Now. And I mean now, a new episode is on! (Gotta go! Commercials are nearly over.)

I hate my colon.

-MISH- (Message In Subject Header)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Responses et al.

Last week, Anon had this to say:
Why NY *and* CT? Does the firm require both? Right away?

You need to pass one state bar to practice law, not two. You also need to pass the pat bar so you can prosecute patents.

Maybe concentrate on just the two required bars and use the saved time impressing the new firm with your work ethic and product.
I promised I would respond and so I shall.

First off, my firm does not require any bar except for the Patent Bar. I can sit for the Patent Bar fairly soon as it's now given at a professional computer testing center (instead of biannually). I shall submit my application any day now and then it shouldn't be long 'til the exam.

Now, as for the state bars... I didn't pass CT or NY last time around. This time I'll sit for them again. Why? There's no real reason not to. Sitting for 2 bars isn't all that much harder than sitting for 1, at least not when it's CT & NY. I can study for NY and plan on passing CT. Seriously. At worst it's just one extra day of bar exams and I'd rather suffer that than sit for one or the other at a later date. (Yes, I know I can waive in but screw that. I'll take the exam.)

Any other questions?


Also, fyi, I will not be publishing posts from work. I figure, just to be extra safe, I will not compose or publish posts there. Heck, I'm not even going to surf to the blog's webpage. As far as I know, there's no monitoring of anything other than work e-mail but why chance it. I'd rather be safe than sorry on this one.

Work is going rather well. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Today I began writing my first patent. I got the claims done. Tomorrow it's the Description and Figures. I'm learning a lot and enjoying the work. Not bad, really. Not bad at all.

On Thursday I have a Holiday Party that a friend invited me to. His law firm is sponsoring it or what not. Should be good. I haven't seen my friend or his fiancee since law school (so that was about 6-7 months ago).


Friday, December 09, 2005

We interrupt this irregularly scheduled program to bring you-SNOW!

It's snowing outside! A LOT!!! We're expected to get between 5 and 9 inches of snow. So far we have something like 3-4 inches and there's more coming down.

Interesting thing here is that my new job doesn't have a snow policy per se. Rather, it's up to me whether or not I go in. (Which makes an inordinate amount of sense since it's me who has to reach my billable hours suggestion every year.) I'll probably go in around 10:30-noon or so, once the heavy snow fall tapers off a bit. Put in around 4-5 hours billable and I'll be good.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled non-broadcast already in progress.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Work Report

I began working at the law firm on Monday. I'd been offered (and accepted) the position two weeks earlier. The two week wait was so they could find me some office space. Their current office is positively busting. They ended up converting a conference room into half of an office for me. I have my own desk (wood), my own phone line extension (with phone), and, hopefully soon, my own computer. (Didn't arrive yet.) So far I've been using my laptop and flash drive. The worst part is that since I'm not on the network I can't print anything without someone's (a paralegal's) assistance.

Okay, enough with the objective. So far, after two days of work, I love the firm. Everyone there that I've met is very warm and personable. My first day no less than 4 of the other agents/attorneys stopped in, of their own accord, to say hello and briefly chat a bit. The paralegals/secretaries are all very nice and helpful. The two main partners are excellent too. I've been working fairly heavily with one of them. I only met the third, not-so-main, more-recent partner today. She stopped in to say hello and see how I was doing. So all the people I've met are terrific.

The work? I'm doing work. Work as in real work. So far I've drafted 3 responses to office actions for the partner. Tomorrow? Tomorrow I can either begin drafting my first patent application or I can work on my first unguided response to an office action. I'm learning a ton and the partner is actually working with me to help me learn. This is awesome.

Now, at times I do find some of the work to be pretty boring and unengaging. However, I suspect some of that will diminish as I get accustomed to the work. For crying out loud, I haven't had a real 8 hours+ a day job in over 3 years, let alone one that required significant amounts of brainpower. I know there's going to be a certain level of acclimatization involved. Plus I haven't even finished my first week here yet. Hell, I don't have a computer! So let me report back on my happiness-level/work contentment in a week or a month. We'll talk then.

Other cool thing. Once I pass the patent bar, my name goes on the letterhead. Whoah. Yeah, once I get my first paycheck and can afford the patent bar fee, I'm signing up. I need to pass that bad boy asap. I've already registered for the Feb. NY Bar Exam. The CT registration isn't due for another month so I can wait for a paycheck on that. Paaaaaaaycheck. Paaaaaaaaaycheck. I need one (or more) of those. T'would help a great deal.

By the way, my billable hours requirement suggestion isn't too bad. I can easily find the daily billables I need, provided I get in to work a little early and stay long enough. Not too bad, especially if I like the work. More on that as time passes.

I think that's it for now. Anyone have any questions for me? If so, leave them in the comments and I'll respond.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Blog Anonymity & Employment: The Twin Pillars of Enlightenment

(Good luck making sense of the post title!)

Here's an ABA article about an anonymous Manhattan associate's blog: An Anonymous Blogger Preps For The Big Time. The blog in question is opinionistas.

I would like to take this time to briefly gloat over my choice to not make this blog anonymous.

Blog anonymity is a two-way streak, it can be good and bad. The good is pretty obvious. The blogger gets a chance to seriously vent to the world at large about whatever he or she wishes. There can be no concern for giving away secrets or saying something one would not or cannot say otherwise, in a non-anonymous setting. In addition, due to this free-ranging ability to say almost anything, the blog itself will probably be a Hell of a lot more interesting and garner a larger audience. Hell, The Hot Librarion is damn entertaining because the author writes what she thinks, no filter, no editing, no holding back. That can make for some real entertainment.

The bad is oh so much worse, however. All it takes is one chink in that armor of anonymity and everything previously written becomes a weapon. That post about your female colleague who really needs to change her brand of deodorant? WHAM! That post about your boss' horrible toupee and the time he tripped down the stairs only to have the darn thing fluttering down after him? SMACK! That post about the time your law professor's pink shirt poked through his unzippered pants? KAPOW! All of a sudden, the blogger's entertaining posts become fuel for his/her demise. Blackmail is too nice a word when one's professional reputation and, indeed, profession are on the line.

So what is this all about? Accountability. As a blogger, are you willing to be held accountable for what you write? I said yes, knowing that: (1) Someone, some day, would link my real name to this blog. (2) I don't want to be fearing the day that the someone in question is my boss. (3) I'm generally not a bitchy kind of guy. I try not to strongly put down others. Not to say I'm against the odd moment of truthful opinion but that I'd prefer not to rant about friends or co-workers. (4) The blog would be a bit less entertaining because of the inherent filters. But that was my choice and I'm still glad for having chosen as I did.

When I read the above article, I noted the comments about the blogger's anonymity being in danger and briefly reflected on my budding career. I start work next Monday at my first "real" position. Oh I've worked full time before but not in a permanent position. And this one is permanent or at least "for the foreseeable future," which is approximately the same thing. Maybe once I get a hard schedule in place I'll take the time to post more regularly here. Not on the clock, of course, but rather because it will mean more and I'll have more to say and relate. Right now my days consist of occasionally being productive, more often screwing around watching television or playing computer games, seriously trying not to piss off my mom, and taking the dogs out. It's sad and slow and boring and pretty damn dull. But all that changes next week, for better or worse. Of course the paychecks I receive will heavily weigh in on the 'better' but that's a little different than considering generic levels of happiness and well-being.

So in summary, anonymity no, employment yes. Kind of a killjoy when you can reduce an entire post into four words. Bleh. (Or one word.)